Nigerian soldiers shut sports bars to stop World Cup attacks

YOLA, Nigeria, June 11 Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:31am EDT

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YOLA, Nigeria, June 11 (Reuters) - Soldiers in a Nigerian state at the heart of an Islamist revolt shut down all venues preparing to screen live World Cup matches on Wednesday, saying they wanted to protect fans from militant attacks.

A spate of assaults on often ramshackle television viewing centres across Africa has raised fears militant groups could target supporters gathering to cheer on the global soccer contest.

"Our action is not to stop Nigerians ... in the state watching the World Cup. It is to protect their lives," said Brigadier-General Nicholas Rogers in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state, regularly hit by raids by Islamist sect Boko Haram. (Reporting by Emmanuel Ande; Writing by Andrew Heavens: editing by John Stonestreet)

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